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Hybrid cloud offers cautious approach for wary healthcare orgs

With so many organizations operating in hybrid cloud environments, newcomers have an increasing number of best practices from which they learn.

Jeff Rowe | Feb 09, 2018 11:13 am

Hybrid cloud scenarios are an increasingly popular way for healthcare organizations to begin gradually to move their IT systems into the cloud, and there is a growing number of best practices to help them succeed.  

Provided they plan carefully and learn from their peers who’ve gone before them. 

Writing recently at Datamation, tech writer Drew Robb noted that “While hybrid deployments allow organizations to dip their toes in the cloud without completely overhauling their existing infrastructure, it’s crucial to keep in mind that these storage environments require more intricate attention than traditional on-prem solutions. IT teams essentially have to manage two separate systems and balance reporting, compliance and administration between on-prem and cloud components.”

As Tony Coppa, Vice Present of Product Strategy, AvePoint, a cloud solutions provider, observed, “An efficient transition to hybrid not only considers the technical support, but also includes changes in culture and management needs. With this in mind, organizations should roll out employee training, documentation on processes and workflows, and communicate how the overall system architecture will change with the migration.”

Naturally, any move to the cloud requires planning. Generally speaking, organizations aiming for hybrid scenarios start small in the cloud, but faulty planning at the early stages can lead to problems down the line.

“Organizations must take ample time to consider the amount of data they’ll be moving, the size of the footprint that needs to be migrated and how many items or versions are making the transition,” said Coppa.

One of the tricks is figuring out what data should stay on-prem. Robb says organizations should consider what old workloads are tied to legacy applications since they probably won’t be able to move custom code to the cloud without making major changes or replacing it with a new solution.

“From there, figure out which data can be left, archived, destroyed or converted to records in order to reduce the migration footprint and timeline,” added Coppa.

Other key ingredients include a solid migration plan and, of course, a careful eye to data security.

Finally, Steve Pao, CMO of Igneous Systems, a hybrid specialist, reminds stakeholders that the right people counts, too, a fact often overlooked.

“Start with the people to understand the data being used, empower them to make decisions about the data movement, and give them access to the data across all tiers,” said Pao. “In technology, design hybrid cloud storage systems with the right software and right networking in mind to empower the people and process.”